Saturday, 29 May 2010


So, meeting with my Offender Manager and my new Offender Manager on Thursday - that was fun!

And apparently my new Offender Manager has experience in working with "people like me" whatever that means. If it means he's going to treat me with contempt and as if I'm some sort of sub-human, then he can stuff his supervision where the sun don't shine, breach or no breach!

And then SOGP again in Friday. Session 12, Life Skills. Where we discuss communication skills ands the fact that we might not have understood what people were saying to us.

I wonder if they realise that the youngest guy on the course is 28 and a Law Student, the oldest is 67 and an ex-RN captain. Do they think you get to 67 without being able to communicate?

Anyway, more stupid role-plays, and surprise-surprise they didn't use my "don't understand" example: I don't understand why the people running the course use permissive language to describe what work they want us to do, then coercive and threatening language to force us to do it even if we see no point.

So much for Informed Consent!

In the meantime, I had an Interview this week, and hope to hear back next week that I have a job :-)

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

What constitutes Risk?

I'm A "High Risk offender" apparently. This means that, according to the best Probation Crystal Ball gazers, there is a high risk of my reoffending in the next five years.

But what does that really mean?

Well, firstly, it's the opinion of someone who, at the time, (back in 2007) had only spoken to me for some 75 minutes, and read through the court papers. It's an opinion based on inaccurate information, and a Research tool called the "Risk Matrix 2000" together with a computerised tool called the OASys (Offender Assessment System).

I have no problem with research tools being used to assess risk, as long as they have statistically relevant results, and are used correctly. And also, as long as the results are being interpreted in a meaningful way.

Now, the OASys first. OASys assesses many static and dynamic risk factors. These include Accommodation, Employment, Finances, Relationships, Drugs, Alcohol, Thinking, Attitudes, and health. Each item gets a score, and these scores are then weighted to give a final score between 0 and 168, though It's not possible to score any less than 12. According to OASys, you are a low risk offender if you score less than 44, a medium risk of you score between 44 and somewhere in the 60's. High risk is up to about 120, and very high risk is the final bracket up to a potential score of 168.

My OASys was 41! Which makes me a low risk, right? No - Apparently I'm likely to forget I was in prison, or even an offender, and repeat my behaviour in future. So as a result, the assessing Probation Officer made a judgement call that my risk of reconviction was therefore High!

Now to the RM2000. This does the same job as OASys, but is specifically targeted as Sexual Offences. Now, my RM2000 states I am a medium risk of reoffending. But that's because the assessor stated that my offences were against strangers, and non-contact offences; both increase my risk. And both are inaccurate, according to the person who designed the tool.

A stranger is a person you did not know 24 hours before the offences - that doesn't apply in my case. And non-contact does not count for internet-based offences. So, as a result, my "medium" score drops to "low" again. But, yet again, the opinion of the Probation Officer is that the RM2000 score is wrong, and my risk of reoffending is high.

Now, lets define what a High Risk of reoffending is.

If you are at low risk of reoffending, then there is less than a 5% chance that they will reoffend in the following 5 years. Medium means 5 to 13%, high means 13 to 26% and very high means 26 to 50% that a further offence will be committed in the five hears following release.

So there is a better than 74% likelihood that a High Risk offender will not re-offend in the five years following his release from custody!

Now, remembering what I said - the RM2000 said I was Medium risk - there's an 85% chance that I won't re-offend in the next 5 years, even when they did it wrongly.

And Low risk means that there is less than a 1 in 20 chance of my re-offending at all (any offence) in the next 5 years!

I have a feeling that Probation's Crystal Ball is faulty. Or, perhaps, by listing me as High Risk, they get more money for harassing... oops, I mean Managing me?

It's even better when they come to risk of harm. But I'll save that for another day!

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Ads Ads Ads

I hate adverts

But, as I'm sure you can imagine, my Internet Access, and ability to blog on the road are not free. Even if is.

So I've had to cash in a little, just to help with the costs.

And, as some will know, my ad placing was not ideal.

I think I've sorted that now, so if there are any issues, please comment and let me know.

Wish me luck for Thursday - I'm seeing my current Offender Manager for the last time, as he's about to transfer, and I'm not :-( so I gain a new person who only has his reports to know me by. Reports like "Met first partner when she was 10" - even though we never actually got together as a couple for 12 more years, until we'd both returned to the UK. Yes, it's strictly accurate, but the implication is libellous.

I'll report back as soon as...

Friday, 7 May 2010

Minority Report

It's Friday 7 May, and there's a Hung Parliament. Here in Northants, the Tories increased their share by 6.2%, and Hollobone goes to Westminster. But no-one knows yet which side he'll sit.

The election was unlawful in any case. The Labour Government failed to implement a ruling made 6 years ago by the European Court to give sentenced prisoners in the United Kingdom the vote. And as a result, every disenfranchised prisoner has the right to ask the courts to re-run the vote in their constituency to allow them to vote.

The ironic thing is, most prisoners that I met in my three years inside were Tory voters. Probably because the Labour Party caused so many problems with their Criminal Justice Act and various changes to the Prison Rules that most cons hate Gordon Brown more than David Cameron does.

So now we wait, to see who can get an agreement with whom. And I predict another election before December, with a court declaration that yesterday's one wasn't lawful in any case.

And God help the country, because neither Labour or Tory will be forgiven for that.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

London again

Going to London is often fun. I cheat - since I'm only a short distance from the M1 here, I hitch-hike down to London Gateway services, then walk out to Apex Corner and catch a bus/train/tube onwards to my destinations.

I keep my Oyster card topped up with at least a Travelcard worth of PAYG credit.

Anyway, every time I go to London, I feel followed. I'm sure I'm not being, but I do often get odd, silent phone calls to my "official" numbers. And today, whilst in London, I popped in to see my Telephony provider to have a look at their logs.

It turns out that the people calling me have been Northants police and Northants Probation! In total, since my release, Northants Mappa office has called my mobile over 100 times, and on some occasions has dropped the call after less than a second. Probation has called me 38 times in less than 38 weeks too.

One assumes this is to try to log where I am, using network plotting etc. Unfortunately, the numbers I have given them route via VoIP to the US, then onwards using Skype or similar (mostly similar) onto my mobile phone, which is not registered either to my name or my address.

Also, something else interesting. As my followers may be aware, I'm not allowed to use Internet Chat services. Now, since release, I've had over 150 "spam" approaches by people asking me to join their Facebook group, or MSN, Yahoo, ICQ etc messenger. Once I found out that the authorities were silent-calling me, I decided to check my logs and run the IP addresses of those approaches. And guess what. 90% of them are from Police or Probation computers. Quelle Surprise...!

I think that Section 1(1) of the Protection from Harassment Act would apply. I'm instructing my solicitor to sue. Lets see how they squirm next.

Talking of followers; Don't be shy - say hello.

Vote Early on 6 May - for the person you believe will represent you, no matter what their politics. Lets hope that the 2003 Act gets revoked by the new government.